Auburn has signed its second major recruit from Oceania for the fall of 2013, as they’ve added 17-year old Natasha Lloyd to their incoming recruiting class. She joins Australian Jr. Pan Pac Champion Alexandra Purcell, who signed on Tuesday.
Lloyd is a breaststroker and a star: she is the holder of a dozen long course, and 16 short course, New Zealand Age Group Reocords. She was the 2012 New Zealand Champion in both the 100 and the 200 breaststroke, with long course bests of 1:10 and 2:30, respectively. She’s also been a 2:17 200 IM in long course.
Lloyd is not quite the slam-dunk that Purcell was, but her long course times again rank her as the top breaststroker in the women’s class of 2013. Her long course bests convert to roughly a 1:01 and 2:11 in the two yards breaststroke distances. Those conversions should at least hold true, as Lloyd has shown to be a very good short course meters swimmer thus far in her young career.
Auburn’s breaststroke group, that was the team’s strength last year, has been depleted hard by graduations and transfers. Out of their four SEC A-Finalists in the 100 breaststroke, three have exhausted their eligibility (Lindsey Norberg, Lauren Norberg, and Micah Lawrence). A third member of that group, SEC 8th place finisher and NCAA qualifier Abby Duncan, is tranferring, and another, Tryshia Centeno-Rosa, is transferring as well (to Florida Gulf Coast.)
Auburn has the potential for very good medley relays next season, despite graduating half of the quartet that won the B-Final at last year’s NCAA Championship meet. If Lloyd can slide into the breaststroke spot, and Purcell makes a quick transition, the backstroke (Emily Bos) and butterfly (Olivia Scott) legs are very solid, and that could be a top 5 relay.